History Main / StratemeyerSyndicate

14th May '15 3:23:03 AM SeptimusHeap
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The creator of many many formulaic juvenile book series during much of the 20th century. Each series was written by many ghostwriters sharing a common pseudonym.

Edward Stratemeyer, the head of the syndicate, took a rather direct role in the creation of many of his books, which may be rather surprising considering how basic they are. He invented the primary characters of his stories by listing little more than a name and a basic description, and letting the ghostwriters fill in the personality blanks to flesh them out. He created rigid plots, but left enough blanks in the details to be filled out by a creative writer. Stratemeyer's books were super formulaic, and the man himself tightly controlled the formula.

Virtually all of the book series were about teens going on adventures or solving mysteries, with slight variations on the concept. As such, the books contained very similar themes and portrayals. Characters had platonic love lives, if any at all (rather humorously, this led to the AlternateCharacterInterpretation that the HardyBoys were gay, due to their lack of interest in their nominal girlfriends, preference for male friends, and one brother's close friendship with a boy who disliked girls). Suspense was used to heighten tension, but violence was limited -- characters could get knocked out or tied up, but nothing worse than that. Language was tame, and even expressions such as "oh gosh" and "oh golly" were dropped after some readers complained that they were merely euphemisms for "oh god".

Stratemeyer was a marketing genius if nothing else. He noticed the changing times and applied them to his new book series. When the adventures of undersea diver Dave Fearless were losing popularity, Stratemeyer created the Hardy Boys to take their place, with a greater emphasis on dialog and character. When the women's lib movement started, Nancy Drew came into existence, and became hugely popular. The addition of Jewish and Italian characters to ''The Hardy Boys'' was a response to America's growing tolerance for diversity at the time. Notably, the characters' only real personality traits in Stratemeyer's original description [[TokenMinority was that they happened to be Jewish and Italian]]; the ghostwriter had to give them actual personalities.

!!The Stratemeyer Syndicate's series include:
* ''The Rover Boys''
* ''Literature/TheBobbseyTwins''
* ''[[Literature/HardyBoys The Hardy Boys]]''
* ''Literature/NancyDrew''
* ''Literature/TomSwift''
* ''Dave Fearless''
* ''The Dana Girls''
* ''TrixieBelden''
----
!!This company's work provides examples of:
* AdultsAreUseless: Done intentionally by the most prolific ghostwriter, Leslie [=McFarlane=], who believed that kids should be exposed to corrupt and incompetent authority figures in fiction, so that readers didn't become too reliant on them in real life.
* BoundAndGagged: Often in lieu of "real" violence.
* ChannelHop: In 1979, after the original publishers Grossett and Dunlap did very little to celebrate the Hardy Boys 50th anniversary in 1977 and gave the Stratemeyer Syndicate a resounding "meh" when asked about Nancy's 50th in 1980, the Syndicate decided to sever ties with them and move both series over to Simon and Schuster (after a rather ugly court case.) The series were then moved to paperback, and S&S decided to experiment with the format, both going LighterAndSofter (with SpinOffBabies series like ''The Nancy Drew Notebooks'' and ''The Hardy Boys are: The Clues Brothers'') and DarkerAndEdgier (''The Nancy Drew Files, The Hardy Boys Casefiles.'') Both franchises are cranking out new books to this day.
* {{Crossover}}: Didn't start happening until after Edward no longer ran the company, but the HardyBoys and NancyDrew have met each other many times since. There was even a [[ThatCameOutWrong three-way]] crossover with TomSwift!
* ExtrudedBookProduct: ''Nancy Drew'' and ''Hardy Boys'' have often been called "anti-literature" for precisely this reason.
* KidDetective: What most of the books were about.
* KidHero: Again, what most of the books were about.
* MoneyDearBoy: A large number of the ghostwriters were primarily journalist writing the books while moonlighting for extra cash. The salary varied due to the ebbs and flows of the publishing industry, but by many accounts the writers were paid well. (Roughly $100 per book, which, compared to journalist's salaries at the time, approximated six weeks salary for a book which might be four-weeks work.) Leslie [=McFarlane=] (the ''Hardy Boys'' original ghostwriter) in particular grew to hate writing the books (calling them "those damn juveniles") but kept getting roped back in to feed his family.
* SiblingTeam
* SnoopingLittleKid: How the kid heroes get into danger. In ''Hardy Boys'' in particular, the boys would do their own parallel investigation separate from their dad, a detective himself.
* StrictlyFormula
----
<<|{{Creators}}|>>

to:

The creator of many many formulaic juvenile book series during much of the 20th century. Each series was written by many ghostwriters sharing a common pseudonym.

Edward Stratemeyer, the head of the syndicate, took a rather direct role in the creation of many of his books, which may be rather surprising considering how basic they are. He invented the primary characters of his stories by listing little more than a name and a basic description, and letting the ghostwriters fill in the personality blanks to flesh them out. He created rigid plots, but left enough blanks in the details to be filled out by a creative writer. Stratemeyer's books were super formulaic, and the man himself tightly controlled the formula.

Virtually all of the book series were about teens going on adventures or solving mysteries, with slight variations on the concept. As such, the books contained very similar themes and portrayals. Characters had platonic love lives, if any at all (rather humorously, this led to the AlternateCharacterInterpretation that the HardyBoys were gay, due to their lack of interest in their nominal girlfriends, preference for male friends, and one brother's close friendship with a boy who disliked girls). Suspense was used to heighten tension, but violence was limited -- characters could get knocked out or tied up, but nothing worse than that. Language was tame, and even expressions such as "oh gosh" and "oh golly" were dropped after some readers complained that they were merely euphemisms for "oh god".

Stratemeyer was a marketing genius if nothing else. He noticed the changing times and applied them to his new book series. When the adventures of undersea diver Dave Fearless were losing popularity, Stratemeyer created the Hardy Boys to take their place, with a greater emphasis on dialog and character. When the women's lib movement started, Nancy Drew came into existence, and became hugely popular. The addition of Jewish and Italian characters to ''The Hardy Boys'' was a response to America's growing tolerance for diversity at the time. Notably, the characters' only real personality traits in Stratemeyer's original description [[TokenMinority was that they happened to be Jewish and Italian]]; the ghostwriter had to give them actual personalities.

!!The Stratemeyer Syndicate's series include:
* ''The Rover Boys''
* ''Literature/TheBobbseyTwins''
* ''[[Literature/HardyBoys The Hardy Boys]]''
* ''Literature/NancyDrew''
* ''Literature/TomSwift''
* ''Dave Fearless''
* ''The Dana Girls''
* ''TrixieBelden''
----
!!This company's work provides examples of:
* AdultsAreUseless: Done intentionally by the most prolific ghostwriter, Leslie [=McFarlane=], who believed that kids should be exposed to corrupt and incompetent authority figures in fiction, so that readers didn't become too reliant on them in real life.
* BoundAndGagged: Often in lieu of "real" violence.
* ChannelHop: In 1979, after the original publishers Grossett and Dunlap did very little to celebrate the Hardy Boys 50th anniversary in 1977 and gave the Stratemeyer Syndicate a resounding "meh" when asked about Nancy's 50th in 1980, the Syndicate decided to sever ties with them and move both series over to Simon and Schuster (after a rather ugly court case.) The series were then moved to paperback, and S&S decided to experiment with the format, both going LighterAndSofter (with SpinOffBabies series like ''The Nancy Drew Notebooks'' and ''The Hardy Boys are: The Clues Brothers'') and DarkerAndEdgier (''The Nancy Drew Files, The Hardy Boys Casefiles.'') Both franchises are cranking out new books to this day.
* {{Crossover}}: Didn't start happening until after Edward no longer ran the company, but the HardyBoys and NancyDrew have met each other many times since. There was even a [[ThatCameOutWrong three-way]] crossover with TomSwift!
* ExtrudedBookProduct: ''Nancy Drew'' and ''Hardy Boys'' have often been called "anti-literature" for precisely this reason.
* KidDetective: What most of the books were about.
* KidHero: Again, what most of the books were about.
* MoneyDearBoy: A large number of the ghostwriters were primarily journalist writing the books while moonlighting for extra cash. The salary varied due to the ebbs and flows of the publishing industry, but by many accounts the writers were paid well. (Roughly $100 per book, which, compared to journalist's salaries at the time, approximated six weeks salary for a book which might be four-weeks work.) Leslie [=McFarlane=] (the ''Hardy Boys'' original ghostwriter) in particular grew to hate writing the books (calling them "those damn juveniles") but kept getting roped back in to feed his family.
* SiblingTeam
* SnoopingLittleKid: How the kid heroes get into danger. In ''Hardy Boys'' in particular, the boys would do their own parallel investigation separate from their dad, a detective himself.
* StrictlyFormula
----
<<|{{Creators}}|>>
[[redirect:Creator/StratemeyerSyndicate]]
30th Mar '14 9:32:53 PM ChaoticBrain
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Stratemeyer was a marketing genius if nothing else. He noticed the changing times and applied them to his new book series. When the adventures of undersea diver Dave Fearless were losing popularity, Stratemeyer created the Hardy Boys to take their place, with a greater emphasis on dialog and character. When the women's lib movement started, Nancy Drew came into existence, and became hugely popular. The addition of Jewish and Italian characters to ''The Hardy Boys'' was a response to America's growing tolerance for diversity at the time. Notably, the characters' only real personality traits in Stratemeyer's original description was that they happened to be Jewish and Italian; the ghostwriter had to give them actual personalities.

to:

Stratemeyer was a marketing genius if nothing else. He noticed the changing times and applied them to his new book series. When the adventures of undersea diver Dave Fearless were losing popularity, Stratemeyer created the Hardy Boys to take their place, with a greater emphasis on dialog and character. When the women's lib movement started, Nancy Drew came into existence, and became hugely popular. The addition of Jewish and Italian characters to ''The Hardy Boys'' was a response to America's growing tolerance for diversity at the time. Notably, the characters' only real personality traits in Stratemeyer's original description [[TokenMinority was that they happened to be Jewish and Italian; Italian]]; the ghostwriter had to give them actual personalities.
27th Feb '14 8:45:30 AM SirSapphire
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* {{Crossover}}: Didn't start happening until after Edward no longer ran the company, but the HardyBoys and NancyDrew have met each other many times since.

to:

* {{Crossover}}: Didn't start happening until after Edward no longer ran the company, but the HardyBoys and NancyDrew have met each other many times since. There was even a [[ThatCameOutWrong three-way]] crossover with TomSwift!
11th Jun '13 9:35:08 AM eviltwin531
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Added DiffLines:

* MoneyDearBoy: A large number of the ghostwriters were primarily journalist writing the books while moonlighting for extra cash. The salary varied due to the ebbs and flows of the publishing industry, but by many accounts the writers were paid well. (Roughly $100 per book, which, compared to journalist's salaries at the time, approximated six weeks salary for a book which might be four-weeks work.) Leslie [=McFarlane=] (the ''Hardy Boys'' original ghostwriter) in particular grew to hate writing the books (calling them "those damn juveniles") but kept getting roped back in to feed his family.
2nd Apr '13 8:22:32 PM Xtifr
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* ''TheBobbseyTwins''

to:

* ''TheBobbseyTwins''''Literature/TheBobbseyTwins''
27th Mar '13 4:15:36 AM Xtifr
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* ''[[HardyBoys The Hardy Boys]]''
* ''NancyDrew''
* ''TomSwift''

to:

* ''[[HardyBoys ''[[Literature/HardyBoys The Hardy Boys]]''
* ''NancyDrew''
''Literature/NancyDrew''
* ''TomSwift''''Literature/TomSwift''
12th Aug '12 12:31:43 AM eviltwin531
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Added DiffLines:

* ChannelHop: In 1979, after the original publishers Grossett and Dunlap did very little to celebrate the Hardy Boys 50th anniversary in 1977 and gave the Stratemeyer Syndicate a resounding "meh" when asked about Nancy's 50th in 1980, the Syndicate decided to sever ties with them and move both series over to Simon and Schuster (after a rather ugly court case.) The series were then moved to paperback, and S&S decided to experiment with the format, both going LighterAndSofter (with SpinOffBabies series like ''The Nancy Drew Notebooks'' and ''The Hardy Boys are: The Clues Brothers'') and DarkerAndEdgier (''The Nancy Drew Files, The Hardy Boys Casefiles.'') Both franchises are cranking out new books to this day.
26th Mar '12 6:08:51 AM BonsaiForest
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Virtually all of the book series were about teens going on adventures or solving mysteries, with slight variations on the concept. As such, the books contained very similar themes and portrayals. Characters had platonic love lives, if any at all (rather humorously, this led to the AlternateCharacterInterpretation that the HardyBoys were gay, due to their lack of interest in their nominal girlfriends, preference for male friends, and one brother's close friendship with a boy who disliked girls). Suspense was used to heighten tension, but violence was limited -- characters could get knocked out or tied up, but nothing worse than that. Language was tame, and even words such as "oh gosh" and "oh golly" were dropped after some readers complained that they were merely euphemisms for "oh god".

to:

Virtually all of the book series were about teens going on adventures or solving mysteries, with slight variations on the concept. As such, the books contained very similar themes and portrayals. Characters had platonic love lives, if any at all (rather humorously, this led to the AlternateCharacterInterpretation that the HardyBoys were gay, due to their lack of interest in their nominal girlfriends, preference for male friends, and one brother's close friendship with a boy who disliked girls). Suspense was used to heighten tension, but violence was limited -- characters could get knocked out or tied up, but nothing worse than that. Language was tame, and even words expressions such as "oh gosh" and "oh golly" were dropped after some readers complained that they were merely euphemisms for "oh god".



* AdultsAreUseless: Done intentionally by the most prolific ghostwriter, Leslie [=McFarland=], who believed that kids should be exposed to corrupt and incompetent authority figures in fiction, so that readers didn't become too reliant on them in real life.

to:

* AdultsAreUseless: Done intentionally by the most prolific ghostwriter, Leslie [=McFarland=], [=McFarlane=], who believed that kids should be exposed to corrupt and incompetent authority figures in fiction, so that readers didn't become too reliant on them in real life.
25th Mar '12 11:29:42 PM DoctorSerenitySquid
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Virtually all of the book series were about teens going on adventures or solving mysteries, with slight variations on the concept. As such, the books contained very similar themes and portrayals. Characters had platonic love lives, if any at all. (Rather humorously, this led to the AlternateCharacterInterpretation that the HardyBoys were gay, due to their lack of interest in their nominal girlfriends, preference for male friends, and one brother's close friendship with a boy who disliked girls) Suspense was used to heighten tension, but violence was limited - characters could get knocked out or tied up, but nothing worse than that. Language was tame, and even words such as "oh gosh" and "oh golly" were dropped after some readers complained that they were merely euphemisms for "oh god".

Stratemeyer was a marketing genius if nothing else. He noticed the changing times and applied them to his new book series. When the adventures of undersea diver Dave Fearless were losing popularity, Stratemeyer created the Hardy Boys to take their place, with a greater emphasis on dialog and character. When the women's lib movement started, Nancy Drew came into existence, and became hugely popular. The addition of Jewish and Italian characters to the Hardy Boys was a response to America's growing tolerance for diversity at the time. Notably, the characters' only real personality traits in Stratemeyer's original description was that they happened to be Jewish and Italian; the ghostwriter had to give them actual personalities.

to:

Virtually all of the book series were about teens going on adventures or solving mysteries, with slight variations on the concept. As such, the books contained very similar themes and portrayals. Characters had platonic love lives, if any at all. (Rather all (rather humorously, this led to the AlternateCharacterInterpretation that the HardyBoys were gay, due to their lack of interest in their nominal girlfriends, preference for male friends, and one brother's close friendship with a boy who disliked girls) girls). Suspense was used to heighten tension, but violence was limited - -- characters could get knocked out or tied up, but nothing worse than that. Language was tame, and even words such as "oh gosh" and "oh golly" were dropped after some readers complained that they were merely euphemisms for "oh god".

Stratemeyer was a marketing genius if nothing else. He noticed the changing times and applied them to his new book series. When the adventures of undersea diver Dave Fearless were losing popularity, Stratemeyer created the Hardy Boys to take their place, with a greater emphasis on dialog and character. When the women's lib movement started, Nancy Drew came into existence, and became hugely popular. The addition of Jewish and Italian characters to the ''The Hardy Boys Boys'' was a response to America's growing tolerance for diversity at the time. Notably, the characters' only real personality traits in Stratemeyer's original description was that they happened to be Jewish and Italian; the ghostwriter had to give them actual personalities.



* ExtrudedBookProduct: Nancy Drew and the Hardy Boys have often been called "anti-literature" for precisely this reason.

to:

* ExtrudedBookProduct: Nancy Drew ''Nancy Drew'' and the Hardy Boys ''Hardy Boys'' have often been called "anti-literature" for precisely this reason.



* SnoopingLittleKid: How the kid heroes get into danger. In the Hardy Boys in particular, the boys would do their own parallel investigation separate from their dad, a detective himself.

to:

* SnoopingLittleKid: How the kid heroes get into danger. In the Hardy Boys ''Hardy Boys'' in particular, the boys would do their own parallel investigation separate from their dad, a detective himself.
25th Mar '12 11:27:14 PM DoctorSerenitySquid
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The Stratemeyer Syndicate's series include:
* The Rover Boys
* TheBobbseyTwins
* [[HardyBoys The Hardy Boys]]
* NancyDrew
* TomSwift
* Dave Fearless
* The Dana Girls
* TrixieBelden

to:

The !!The Stratemeyer Syndicate's series include:
* The ''The Rover Boys
Boys''
* TheBobbseyTwins
''TheBobbseyTwins''
* [[HardyBoys ''[[HardyBoys The Hardy Boys]]
Boys]]''
* NancyDrew
''NancyDrew''
* TomSwift
''TomSwift''
* Dave Fearless
''Dave Fearless''
* The ''The Dana Girls
Girls''
* TrixieBelden''TrixieBelden''



!This company's work provides examples of:
* AdultsAreUseless - Done intentionally by the most prolific ghostwriter, Leslie [=McFarland=], who believed that kids should be exposed to corrupt and incompetent authority figures in fiction, so that readers didn't become too reliant on them in real life.
* BoundAndGagged - Often in lieu of "real" violence.
* CrossOver - Didn't start happening until after Edward no longer ran the company, but the HardyBoys and NancyDrew have met each other many times since.
* ExtrudedBookProduct - Nancy Drew and the Hardy Boys have often been called "anti-literature" for precisely this reason.
* KidDetective - What most of the books were about.
* KidHero - Again, what most of the books were about.

to:

!This !!This company's work provides examples of:
* AdultsAreUseless - AdultsAreUseless: Done intentionally by the most prolific ghostwriter, Leslie [=McFarland=], who believed that kids should be exposed to corrupt and incompetent authority figures in fiction, so that readers didn't become too reliant on them in real life.
* BoundAndGagged - BoundAndGagged: Often in lieu of "real" violence.
* CrossOver - {{Crossover}}: Didn't start happening until after Edward no longer ran the company, but the HardyBoys and NancyDrew have met each other many times since.
* ExtrudedBookProduct - ExtrudedBookProduct: Nancy Drew and the Hardy Boys have often been called "anti-literature" for precisely this reason.
* KidDetective - KidDetective: What most of the books were about.
* KidHero - KidHero: Again, what most of the books were about.



* SnoopingLittleKid - How the kid heroes get into danger. In the Hardy Boys in particular, the boys would do their own parallel investigation separate from their dad, a detective himself.

to:

* SnoopingLittleKid - SnoopingLittleKid: How the kid heroes get into danger. In the Hardy Boys in particular, the boys would do their own parallel investigation separate from their dad, a detective himself.



* ValuesDissonance - While the books evolved to fit with changing values, they also heavily show the values of their time as well. Such as the many racist portrayals of characters in the old HardyBoys books.



<<|{{Creators}}|>>

to:

<<|{{Creators}}|>>
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